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no one has eveR thought of this befoRe

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one-in-a-million business idea You have tucked awaY in the back of YouR mind?

dust it off. it’s time. the clemson mba in entrepreneurship & innovation www.clemson.edu/mba · 864-656-8173


Every event here is a home run. Fluor Field makes special events more special. With so many versatile spaces, we’re able to accommodate just about any event you can dream up. Whether it’s a rehearsal dinner in the luxury suites, a community fundraiser throughout the concourse, a wedding reception in The 500 Club, a holiday party in the clubhouse, or even a road race with the finish line behind home plate, we promise a professional, fun and unique event experience unlike any other.

For more information, call the Drive at 864.240.4517.

www.GreenvilleDrive.com


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DJ Rama: Architect of an Empire

Our Patent Paradox

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What Matters: Tobi Swartz


a b o u t

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editor in chief

Jordana Megonigal

OUR STORY... Whether planes crash or crews overcome obstacles to successfully complete flights, airlines go to the black box to discover secrets, answers, and missing information to explain what happened and learn for the future. That’s the mission of our magazine, our connect events, and our interactive platform. News of businesses succeeding, failing, merging, hiring, firing and more are reported everyday, all over the Upstate. But in business, the real power is not just hearing the news, but about going behind the scenes, discovering, connecting, and learning from those that made it happen. At the heart of every event, every blog, every magazine issue, and every documentary Business Black Box produces, you’ll find a relentless passion for connecting, advising and growing Upstate business.

publisher

creative director

Geoff Wasserman

Chad McMillan

edi torial

BBB

contributing writers

subsc riptions / give a gift

Peter Barth Marc Bolick Andy Coburn Noelle Coyle Chip Felkel Steven Hahn Leslie Hayes Evelyn Lugo Chad McMillan Josh Overstreet

de sign senior designer Chris Heuvel art director Lisa Worsham GRAPHIC DESIGNER Catherine Roberts photography Wayne Culpepper, Fisheye Studios traffic coordinator Lisa Worsham

interactive director John Schulz le ad programmer Nathan Morgan IT Administration James Cable

re ader

servic es

Annual Subscriptions are $20 and include four issues of Business Black Box, as well as one year of full access to our website, Insideblackbox.com. Think someone you know would like to receive Business Black Box? A complimentary gift card will be sent with each order indicating who the gift is from and when the recipient will receive their first issue. If you have a question about your subscription, call us at (864) 281-1323, ext. 1010, or reach us via email at info@insideblackbox.com. c hange of address

When contacting us about changing your address, please provide us with both the old and the new addresses, as well as any other informational changes. The post office will only forward Business Black Box for 60 days, so make sure you let us know as soon as you have your information ready.

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When available, back issues of Business Black Box are available for $9 by mail or for $7 for pick-up through our office.

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Local talent is what keeps us moving. If you’d like to write or photograph for Business Black Box, please contact the editor at editor@insideblackbox.com or by mail to Business Black Box, c/o Freelance Opportunities, 1200 Woodruff Rd., Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607. reprint / photo / video requests

If you’d like to request a copy or a reprint of a photo or an article you’ve seen in Business Black Box, or of a video we’ve done for your event, please contact us for info and pricing at info@ insideblackbox.com or by mail to 1200 Woodruff Rd., Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607. event management / sponsorship

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Business Black Box (Vol.5, Issue 1) is published four times per year by ShowCase Publishing, 1200 Woodruff Rd. Suite A8, Greenville, SC 29607; phone (864) 281-1323; fax (864) 281-1310. Business Black Box is a registered trademark of ShowCase Publishing 2013. Content may not be reproduced without written permission of Business Black Box. Excerpts may be reprinted, provided that credit is given to the author and to Business Black Box magazine.

Brooke Holder Charles Richardson Jessica Riddle Amy Smith accounting Jess Cable

Business Black Box hosts events monthly from Business Connect networking held at local businesses to sponsoring events for other local organizations. If you’d like to find out more about hosting an event with Business Black Box, or about working with us to sponsor your event, please call our sales team at (864) 2811323, ext. 1018, or email sales@insideblackbox.com.

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amy wood, anchor, wspa

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tony snipes, business coach & entrepreneur

chip felkel, ceo, the felkel group

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coleman kirven, commercial banking executive, the palmetto bank

julie godshall-brown, president, godshall staffing

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13. todd korahais, operating partner, keller williams realty

andy coburn, attorney, wyche law firm

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14. terry weaver, ceo, chief executive boards international

maxim williams, director of community relationships, bon secours st. francis

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15. sam patrick, ceo, patrick marketing & communications

tiffany hughes, marketing director, hallelujah acres

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16. matt dunbar, managing director, upstate carolina angel network

michael bolick, president, lab 21

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john deworken, partner, sunnie & deworken

greg hillman, upstate director, scra/sclaunch

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bill west, managing partner, the atlantic partners

ravi sastry, vp of sales & marketing, immedion

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19. steven hahn, director of entrepreneurial systems, spartanburg chamber of commerce

jil littlejohn, executive director, ywca 10.

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For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

For complete bios on our advisory council visit www.insideblackbox.com/advisors

A team of experienced, connected business leaders from different regions of the Upstate, who advise us regularly on trends, changes, growth, and progress in upstate business.


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Details and the war against status quo

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For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

very man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” – Ernest Hemingway.

“The devil’s in the details,” or so I’ve been told. I grew up with it, but it never really made a lot of sense. Isn’t that always the case? We all know this—that details make all the difference—but whether or not that knowledge has actually taken root, for many of us, still remains to be seen. I was thinking about it the other day—people I’ve met, in my many professional escapades and blessings, who have made an impact on me and how I think about something, and why. • The high-level magazine writer who puts her phone away for every meeting—whether it’s with a friend over beers or an interview with a national celebrity. She does this, she says, because it helps her “be present” with the people she is with at the moment.“Voicemail still works,” she says. • The non-profit CEO who realized that his organization’s “rules” were a hindrance to his mission. So, without any further thought or board deliberation, he changed them. Now they help hundreds of people every day—many who would never have made it past those initial “rules.” • The conference leaders who spent hours painstakingly ensuring that their workshop materials were laid out with pens, journals, wi-fi passwords, emails of all the attendees and speakers, dress codes, and boredom busters. After all, they told me, if you’re going to be here for a week, then we need to meet every need you might have—before you have it. These are just a few samples I came up with, and they are all different, but they all ring true in one thing—details do matter.They help us see the heart of the person...the intent...the person within. When you know that someone will not even look at their phone when you are together—not even to see what time it is—how does that make you feel? When you know someone has put genuine effort into anticipating your every need—how does that make you feel? When you get a “thank you” gift from a vendor, a client, or an employee—how do you react? There are those of us who already get it, and live it.There are others of us who get stuck in “status quo”—the “well-everyone-does-this-and-its-become-customaryso-no-one-thinks-anything-about-it” syndrome. I know I’ve defaulted to that myself. But just because it’s customary, or normal, doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it memorable or effective, either. And when you think about making an impact, then I’d be willing to bet that hovering around “status quo” is likely to be the lowest return you’ve ever gotten. It’s a new year. It’s my fifth year writing a year-opening letter to you guys. When we started, we wanted to make an impact, and we paid a lot of attention to details (whether or not anyone else noticed). This year—our fifth year in print—I promise you we’ve been spending a lot of time still going over the details.What’s our next step? Where do we go from here? This year, take a minute and think about the little things.The beginning of the year is a great time for this kind of reflection. All your roles—employee, boss, spouse, parent, friend—have parts that have become “status quo.”What are those areas? And what details can you address that would make your life more memorable? This year, don’t just get through. Make an impact. I know I want to.

Editor, Business Black Box

jordana@insideblackbox.com | 864/281-1323 x.1010 twitter.com/jmegonigal | linkedin.com/in/jordanam facebook.com/jordana megonigal Photo by Nill Silver Photography

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DJ Rama Q1 2013 // Business Black Box

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

For more Layers of Thought visit www.insideblackbox.com/layers

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Upcoming Dates for Future Entrepreneurs Iron Yard In 2013, both Greenville and Spartanburg will host the Iron Yard for 10 tech startups. (If you aren’t familiar with the Iron Yard, check out the Q4 2012 issue of Business Black Box!) Feb 1 Mar 11 May 30 June 3-7 June 10-14 Jun 21 Jul 15 Sept. 30-Oct. 4 Oct. 10 Oct. 14-18

direc tory

Rely Local - Greenville

Spring Application Deadline Spring Program Begins Spring Launch Event West Coast Fundraising Trip Northeast Fundraising Trip Fall Application Deadline Fall Program Begins West Coast Launch Event and Fundraising Trip Fall Launch Event Northeast Fundraising Trip

For more information or to apply, visit www.TheIronYard.com/Labs

Spend a dollar with a locally owned business, and you can bet on $.68 staying in the community. Rely Local is a community campaign that hopes you’ll do just that! The site includes locally owned vendors, restaurants and shops, as well as opportunities to find jobs in the area and connect with others who support the “Buy Local” movement.

www.relylocal.com/ greenville-southcarolina

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

Main Street Challenge The City of Spartanburg is hosting a Main Street Challenge to support starting or existing businesses interested in moving into the downtown Spartanburg area. Along with a cash incentive of $12,000 and thousands more in in-kind incentives (marketing, signage, upfitting, etc.), winning businesses will qualify for street-level storefront space on Main Street, Spartanburg.

For more information or to apply, call the City of Spartanburg’s Economic Development team at (864) 596-2026, or visit www.CityofSpartanburg.org/ economic-development/main-street-challenge

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

MARK TWAIN

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JANUARY

Sustainable, Word of Mouth movements, by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones

The Chamber will also honor legislators who scored 100 percent on the Chamber’s 2012 Legislative Scorecard and are strong advocates of business. Tickets are $95 for Chamber members and $125 for non-members.

The Gist: Think less about “marketing” your business and more about how to create a movement that includes your business.

FOR MORE INFO: Call the SC Chamber at (803) 799-4601 or visit the chamber website at www.SCChamber.net.

How it’s Written: There are 11 chapters, each with

Great if: You feel like there’s something more—or

if engaging with your customers is becoming more important than just providing that product or service to them.

Don’t miss: Chapter 11. Because without it, what’s the point?

Our Read: This book got us fired up about our own little tribe. It’s a great first-of-the-year pick to get you reenergized for the next 12 months.

WHAT: 2013 Business Speaks at the Statehouse WHERE: Columbia Mariott 1200 Hampton Street Columbia, SC WHEN: January 9, 2013 at 4 p.m. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce will host this town hall gathering of more than 400 of South Carolina’s leading business people, constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly, to provide a special opportunity to hear updates on the South Carolina Chamber’s 2013 Competitiveness Agenda and speak with House and Senate leaders.

What we read: Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful,

some cool graphs and illustrations (for those who find it hard to pay attention if there aren’t any pictures!). Ten of the Chapters lay out different focuses on creating movements—the 11th puts it in your hands. There’s also references to movements from all over—from Fiskars to NASA—so there’s absolutely something in these pages for everybody.

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WHAT: TEDx Greenville WHERE: Kroc Center, Greenville, SC WHEN: March 22, 2013 The annual, localized TEDx event is right around the corner! Under the theme “By Design,” the TEDx Greenville team hopes you’ll move forward with intention after a day full of speakers, entertainers and TED videos from around the world. You can be sure to walk away with something you’ve never seen or heard before! FOR MORE INFO: Visit the TEDx Greenville website at www.TEDxGreenville.com

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Between the Lines

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On December 12, 2012, the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business held an Economic Outlook, where economists and other thought leaders in the business arena shared their perspectives on what 2013 might look like for the business community.

Attention All Data Fans! If you’re a fan of numbers and statistics (like we are), you have to check out SC Dash, a clearinghouse of economic data—all about South Carolina. Created by USC’s Moore School of Business, there’s a tool that walks you through building the data you want to see. As an example, take a look at the info we pulled up below—a representation of the Economic indices of men versus women over the past 20 years. It’s fascinating stuff, and you can find general demographic information, data targeted by industry, and everything in between.

“We are one of the leading states in terms of leading indicators—we look the best among all states going into 2013. We have a lot of momentum, a lot of potential for job creation next year, just as we did this year.”

www.SCDash.com

Entrepreneurial Index of Men and Women in South Carolina

Doug Woodward University of South Carolina economist

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“In 2012, we saw 1.8 percent growth [in job creation]; we’re expecting 1.2 percent employment growth over the next 12 months.”

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Joseph Von Nessen

“We are going over a ‘fiscal cliff’ on Jan. 1, 2013. The only question is how severe.”

Index

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

University of South Carolina economist

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John Connaughton University of North Carolina economist “Firms with less than 20 people have accounted for about one quarter of total employment in South Carolina but over half of the job growth in the state. There is no question that our ability to support new ventures in South Carolina will be a key driver in our economic growth.”

Dirk Brown Executive Director Faber Center for Entrepreneurship Moore School of Business

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By the Numbers

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

In a recent survey, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that where we live affects how we get news and information. The survey, published in September 2012, finds that among many other things, urban residents typically use mobile and online sources of information, while those in rural areas are very focused on traditional forms of media and word of mouth. Meanwhile, counterparts in suburban areas are highly likely to turn to social media for information.

Towns

Large Cities • • •

• Very diverse in demographics, community

One-third are between 18 and 29 years of age Most likely to have lived in their community for less than a year Most likely to use social network sites and Twitter

connection and technology use

• Highest percentage of residents who describe themselves as political independents

• After large cities, small cities have the highest proportion of Gen Y residents

Suburbs near large cities

Rural Areas

• Most likely to have a college degree and annual household income of $75,000+

• Most likely to own a computer, tablet or cell phone • Highest rate of internet and social network site use

• Least technologically engaged of the four groups • Most likely to have lived in their communities for more than 20 years

• About half the residents are 50 years old or older (21% are 65+ years old)

“How people get local news and information in different communities.” For the full report, visit www.PewInternet.org

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Zipit now™ Critical messaging device manufactured by zipitŽ greenville, sc

for more visit www.zipitwireless.com Photo by Wayne Culpepper/Fisheye Studios

From S.C. to the World


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Breaking Ground: Watch the local headlines and you’ll notice some encouraging news—building is on a bounce back. From mixed-use developments to historic renovations, real estate growth and development is back on the rise.

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

If you had your say, what kind of development would you bring to the Upstate, and where would you put it?

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s tat u s

This idea becomes a “unit” it gives the area community. The four factories and the stores and schools etc provide local jobs that do not require four-wheeled transit. This is what we should be building. To think that today someone has to find a home or an apartment, then find a car, pay for all of the insurances, gas, taxes, etc., when the per capita income in South Carolina is $23,443, is just crazy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

List_of_U.S._states_by_income#States_ranked_ by_per_capita_income

“If I had a ton of capital—or influence over people with tons of capital—I’d focus on historical renovation. I hate seeing fabulous, well-built old structures “go to waste,” sit empty, or get torn down and in their place, more-temporary, uglier buildings constructed. On the other hand, I’m not really big on state-run centralplanning efforts either. So my preference is that public/ government entities focus on vastly lessening regulations, taxes, mandates, and various other business and job-killing actions so that individuals with capital may make their own decisions about where they’d like to put that capital. I’d prefer that government organizations not be the entities making the decisions about where to put development.”

Sarah Hey Consultant

“To think that today someone has to find a home or an apartment, then find a car, pay for all of the insurances, gas, taxes, etc., when the per capita income in South Carolina is $23,443, is just crazy.”

We need to find ways to reduce costs and increase spendable income. Driving a car 30 miles a day to and from work is a large percentage of someone’s $23k. Let’s build communities like this and let folks get a shuttle to Haywood Mall (for instance) from this community. This community is just like a large neighborhood plot— the big difference is that it offers a whole lot more than just a home and community pool. It offers work and the necessities of life all within walking distance. Big cities have this, Euro villages have this, Asian complexes have this, we used to have it (sort of) in the idea of “mill villages”. I’m not saying go back to that style, but in order to be competitive in the next century the things we need to build are these not more 500-plot neighborhoods with a pool that require a car and resources beyond the norm to actually ‘live’.”

David Pence

CEO, Acumen IT “Eighteen of the 20 U.S. metro areas closest in size to Greenville have a public Skatepark. It’s past time for a topnotch public Skatepark in downtown Greenville. A major contributing factor to the decline of health in S.C. is the obesity rate. Efforts to combat this only seem to include more of the same...bike lanes, ball fields, walking trails.... if these were the complete answer, we wouldn’t have a problem. It’s time to think outside the box and provide creative, unique options for physical activity.”

“My first thought was the “where” side of the question. I have observed a sad decline of Wade Hampton Boulevard in the area beginning about a mile north of Bob Jones University and continuing to the Taylors Post Office. There are more and more empty and run-down structures and I hate to see that on such an awesome thoroughfare.

So, what might kindle a rebirth in that part of the community? Another restaurant row is not needed since there are already many nearby. A bunch of bland strip malls would not be unique enough to cause people to stop or draw people from other areas. I don’t think we could create Greenville’s own ethnic center (ie. a Chinatown) there.

It needs to be something not found in other parts of town. My suggestion would be “Independent’s Mile.” Yes, that’s a play on words. It might be a uniquely designed collection of single-location creative shops and studios owned by the rising crop of millennials who want to become creative and professional entrepreneurs. Think Soho. No chains. No national companies. Destination businesses. Fascinating businesses. Coffee shops and hangouts. Mixed use properties with the shop or office downstairs and a residence upstairs. A rail trolley that runs from one end to the other like Seattle has along the waterfront. Now that would be fun.”

Gil Gerretsen

President, Biztrek

Tucker Freeland

Extreme Athlete, Razor Skates and QSA Athlete Training Q1 2013 // Business Black Box

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“The number one thing our community needs is a competitive landscape to be a better player on a global scale. I think one way to do that is to take one of the outlier factories that has been shut down and use it as the corner of a tic-tac-toe board, if you will. Assume each square is a half square mile, and the old factory is the upper right hand corner. Renovate it, make the other “corners” future factory areas as well. Then in the middle squares build housing that is conducive for people without cars. Bicycles, foot traffic, trams etc. Use the center square for a park, surround it with a road people can “cruise” on. Put a k-12 in the center square. On the cruise road put shops for hair, pizza, laundry etc. Put a couple minute clinics and a medical 360 type place in the center.

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P H O T O B Y A N DR E W ST E P H E N CU B U L K A

it’S our busiNess To saTisfy your taste.


a CelebRation Of exCelleNce in

food, wine aNd

chArlestOn’s

RenownEd culture.

Feb.28 thru Mar.3 cha r l esto n wi n e a n d fo o d. c om

FOOD CULTURE OF THE SOUTH


Marc Bolick President Dmarc8 International

N glob al

ot long ago, planning a meeting with a new business partner required a flurry of letters, faxes, “long-distance” phone calls and time with a travel agent. The barriers to doing business globally were very high indeed. Today, building relationships is not only cheaper and faster, it’s entirely feasible to do business with far-flung partners you’ve never actually met in person. Establish your own global network with a process in mind and the help of a few powerful, cloud-based tools. Discovery Finding the right person with the experience and expertise you need in a particular market is key. Industry newsletters, conference websites and web searching are obvious places to start. But, the most powerful tools by far are social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. Force yourself to dive into each of these networks, learn what works for you, and make new contacts there. Engaging Once you’ve identified someone of interest, it’s time to engage and begin a relationship. Don’t be shy. Social media people are, well, social people after all! Invite the person to connect on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, post a comment on her blog – these are all starting points.

The World is Your Network

About the author...

Marc Bolick replanted his native roots in Greenville after living in Europe for 13 years. He has worked in all aspects of product and service creation for companies ranging from Fortune 100 multi-nationals to mid-sized European firms to startups. For the past nine years he has run Dmarc8 International, a consulting firm that helps clients to qualify, plan and implement innovative growth strategies.

Build rapport with your counterpart, and when you feel the time is right, setup a phone call. Skype and Google Talk work great for this. The idea is to keep a conversation going and delve deeper into areas of mutual interest. Let’s Meet At this point you’ve engaged with a few people who you want to take to the next step. But, instead of hopping on a plane, do a videoconference. While a voice call gets you part of the way there, seeing your counterpart “live” on screen takes the level of engagement way up and you’ll feel you have actually ‘met’ a new friend. It’s surprising how few people use video calling these days, yet it can be done for free using the built-in camera of your PC or smart phone. Both Skype and Google Talk support video calls. A bit of careful planning and, voilà, you’ll be doing Buck Rogers with Günter in Munich in no time flat. Build the Relationship Now that you’ve met, it’s time to start extending the relationship. Learning more about each other’s business via web conference is a good place to start.Two services that are free are join.me and vyew.com. As you use the net to keep in touch and engage ever deeper, it’s likely that you will come up with a collaboration project that will help you both grow business. Collaborate Since collaboration is the most valuable part of business relationships, there are many cloud-based tools you can use. If you want a simple, task-based project collaboration tool, Basecamp is worth a try. Another app, Yammer, can act as a hub for all your interactions with distant partners. Other collaboration tools you might want to use include Google Drive (documents), Zoho (CRM) and MindMeister (brainstorming). Building relationships with international partners need not cost a fortune. It just takes an investment of your time and energy. Go ahead, plug yourself in to the global network of potential partners!

Photos by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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The Place to Be.

nomasquare.com

Beautifully reinvented Hyatt Regency Hotel NOMA Tower Class A modern office space NEW Regency Ballroom, the Upstate’s largest hotel ballroom ROOST, a new soil-to-city restaurant featuring local cuisine

220 North Main Street Greenville, South Carolina


and I want to know if this is the right career path for me.’” The general manager agreed, putting Rama to work in banquet set up. After a year of learning the systems and processes involved in hosting larger events, Rama made his decision; no longer fawning over the career possibilities that not long before had seemed easier, he decided he would attend Johnson & Wales University, whose higher education in the culinary arts and hospitality industry was world-renowned. DJ RAMA: ARCHITECT OF AN EMPIRE

STEPPING OUT Now in an environment with its own culinary labs and training hotels, Rama purposefully learned things he’d never had access to before—in one example, the vegetarian Rama first learned how to peel a scallop. “I did want the theory, but I also wanted the practical every day in my life,” he says. So he went to the Marriott in Providence, R.I., and once again convinced the general manager to “hire” him— without pay, of course. Negotiating a deal that would put him to work in all departments; Rama felt the daily side of the business was vital to helping him understand all aspects of the industry— not just the management side. By the time he graduated—after spending four years of his undergraduate degree behind the front desk—Marriott offered him a position in their coveted Individual Development program. After choosing to focus on food and beverage, Rama was given the choice of Marriott hotels to call home. Naturally looking for the biggest challenge, he chose the Marriott Marquee in Atlanta, which boasted more than 1,600 rooms and was considered one of the largest in the Southeast. Using the Marriott Marquee as a R&D lab of sorts, he was able to learn people management in a way he’d never known before. “If your systems and processes are in place, then it doesn’t matter how many units you add onto your hotel—whether it’s 1,600 rooms or 100 rooms,” he says. “How do you effectively manage? And consistently manage? And then the other thing is, we’re in the people business—providing service through another human being. How do you know if the person woke up on the wrong side of the bed and how do you manage them?” Armed with a solid base of experience as well as a high level of education, Rama knew there was more that he needed to focus on—the conceptual skills—which he knew meant more experience on the corporate level. He transferred, managing 46 hotels in the Washington, D.C. area, and then again moved to help open hotels in the Asia Pacific area. Rama went to Cornell, earning both a Masters’ degree as well as the analytical skills he needed to round out his experience. Little did he know that his thesis—studying trends in hotel management, and how a hotel would need to change or grow in the future—would be a central learning tool that he’d bring to his own company in a matter of years. Graduating in May of 1996, Rama, with all he had learned and experienced across the world, went directly back to his roots in the family business, and helped start—alongside his uncles and other family—JHM Hotels. Q1 2013 // Business Black Box

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In 1968, Dharmendra J. Rama was born into the family business, which at that time was a retail store in Malawi. He describes that beginning as “humble”—his family worked the store and lived directly behind it. “With that humble beginning you always understood the value of family,” he says. “What it means—hard work and honesty; the basic principles of life.” The value of family came to light early on in his life—it wasn’t long before his uncle, HP Rama, travelled to the U.S. with little more than the two dollars in his pocket. There, the senior Rama earned his MBA and opened a 40-room hotel called the Sunset Motel, bringing over his two brothers to help build the business. Soon enough, DJ found himself living at the property in California, helping care for it alongside his family. Around the age of seven, Rama was given his first job—turning on lights in each room at nighttime and turning them off before he left for school. If they rented a room at 2 a.m., he would help his mother get it ready. Early on, he not only learned what the hospitality industry took, but also what it could take out of someone. “Even until today, the thing I remember the most is that I used to hate when there was an old beer can with cigarettes inside and you had to clean that,” he recalls. “And you know, those are little details, but they are very vivid memories for me. It gives you more respect when you’re running a business today.You wonder, ‘How do my people feel about certain things and what am I doing about it?’” As the Rama family continued to grow their modest hotel experience, they moved to Kentucky to acquire a motel. In a time that Rama recalls gave him “more understanding of the business than ever before,” he worked alongside a night auditor who not only would help him get ready for school and find loose change for snacks, but also first trained him how to rent a room. A great mentor he helped Rama establish some basic foundations in the industry. Soon enough, the Ramas moved to Greenville, S.C., taking over the dilapidated Camelot Inn on Augusta Road. Then a teenager, Rama remembers the hotel’s life absorbing his own, and questioning his desire to continue the family business. “During high school I used to work the entire summer at the property, in the maintenance department or helping. So you were always surrounded by it; you couldn’t escape from it,” he says. “When the other teenagers were having fun on Friday and Saturday, that’s when our peak business was, so you hung out at the hotel to make sure you managed the affairs. From the Camelot Inn, basically, I had to figure out: ‘Is this the business I want to be in?’ Because I thought, ‘My folks are working too hard. Is a doctor better? Is a dentist better?’” Still, family and work was everything, so he remained a constant fixture in the Camelot Inn—save for the few opportunities to visit the downtown Hyatt with his uncle. “I still have a vivid memory of when the Hyatt was in the planning stages and going to that property. My jaw dropped, like, ‘Wow, look at this hotel.’ I still remember—I had a white shirt on and a tie— going into the property for Sunday brunch at Provencia…my uncle taught me how to eat with a fork and knife at that property.” Touches like this—entries into a world of luxury far beyond his humble life—helped solidify his desire to remain in the hotel business. Still, without direct access to that world, Rama knew he would not get far. He needed an opportunity to see how larger hotels operated. And just across the street from the Camelot Inn sat the Sheraton. “I said, ‘I want you to train me. You don’t have to pay me, but I want to know if I belong in this business. I know where I am right now, but I think you have the fancy hotel and the fancy name,


FULL CIRCLE Today, JHM Hotels has 42 hotels with approximately 8,000 rooms and is one of only seven families allowed to operate a Hyatt Regency. With awards on culture and customer service, you’d think it would be easy to sit back and simply manage from behind a desk—and while that may be true, history has shown that it’s not how DJ Rama works. In fact, Rama, as President, is known for his hands-on attitude, and more often than not can be found on a property rather than in the office. But it’s this attitude that makes Rama’s success so powerful. With a focus on siddhi, a Sanskrit word that means performance, success, attention to detail and consciousness, Rama understands that the smallest detail is just as important as the largest decision. “In whatever we do, I think we’re doing it with consciousness, and that means we are invoking the consciousness of doing it right,” he notes, of the focus that keeps him grounded. “It could even be putting this magazine straight rather than this way. I think when you live in the present moment you are more conscious of what’s in front of you to do your best at it.” In the hotel world, this translates to what Rama calls “experienceology,” a teasing of the five senses for every customer who is paying for the experience of staying in one of their hotels. But that same experience-focused drive is what is literally changing the face of North Main Street in downtown Greenville. JHM purchased Greenville’s downtown Hyatt in December 2011, and only one year later will unveil months of hard work that have an effect far beyond the walls of the hotel. “Every day I spend four hours at NoMa Square,” Rama says, referring to the construction that is currently in progress in the area. The area that will become known as NoMa (a play on North Main) will help balance downtown as the anchor opposite the West End area. With renovations to the Hyatt and the entire city block surrounding the hotel, it’s not unusual that he would be a common sight in the area. What is uncommon is his level of involvement in the project itself. While many in his position would have been comfortable having someone else do the research needed to start such a project, Rama himself met with his neighbors of the North Main district to determine their needs and wants. After all, he says, they know what the area needed, so they were involved not only in the planning stages, but also allowed to put a stamp of approval on the final design. Before the new entrance was even put on paper, Rama spent time with the valets of the hotel, who knew better than anyone else the challenges of traffic circulation and daily needs. “Listening allows you to focus on perfection and detail,” Rama says. “But again, you have to take the time to do that.” But listening is only a part of the job, he notes. The other part is being present, paying attention to every detail—no matter how small. While the square itself has design elements that range from water to fire to stone, and every facet of the area has been questioned as to sustainability and accessibility, every once and a while, something can slip by.

“Just to give you a little example, at NoMa Square we were putting these rings around this tree, and the curb was going to be 8 inches above the ground. It felt like a pinball machine because there were 13 trees and there were 13 rings,” Rama notes. “So, when a customer on Main Street is walking up, they will be going through these waves of rings. This doesn’t work. But nobody on the drawing side, nobody on the architecture side—even my eyes didn’t pick those eight inches up.” Immediately, they called the city and worked to correct it. With concerns over child safety and walkability, every detail was discussed, and within the day, the tree borders sat flush with the ground, inviting people into the area. While it may seem extreme to an outsider, for Rama, it’s the tiny details that can make or break the experience. “It’s details,” he says. “It’s a little thing and [seeing it] only comes by management walking around. And it’s so important that when you have a project like this—is everything going according to plan? Are we spending the time? Everything’s important, but when a project is open, we better make sure that were spending the time to focus on the details.” But long after the NoMa construction is finished and the dayto-day use of the area begins, residents and visitors can be assured that siddhi will remain a focus in NoMa’s daily use. In fact, Rama believes, that attention to detail may just help change the economic face of the North Main area. “I feel that the north end area needed a life; it needed freshness. And what you’ll find is NoMa Square; you’ll find a new breath of fresh air,” he says. “And what we expect is that the development around us, and talking with all the retailers and the tenants around there…they have the confidence to invest in that area now.” Where office space once lined North Main, going dark at 5, retail space will soon crop up, offering life to the area during evening hours. (Office space was moved upward into the tower to maintain the business-friendly nature of the area.) Outdoor seating, fire pits, and restaurants will help shape the area, along with a pedestrian-friendly waffle cart, art gallery and studio space, and more. In fact, Charleston Cooks!, an operation of Maverick Southern Kitchens, who also operates High Cotton, has already chosen NoMa as it’s new home, offering cooking classes and supplies to the public. But for Rama, NoMa signifies far more than just growth and renovation. NoMa is his newest R&D lab—a place where he can try new things and experiment with the hospitality industry. “Greenville is about to see southern hospitality with a unique flair,” he says. “We have a leader, Jane Brophy, and her general manager, and our team that will execute this experience. And we passionately want to have fun in doing it …constantly being unique and differentiated in doing that.” And for the man who now owns the hotel he used to visit on special occasions as a boy—the same boy who cleaned rooms at 2 a.m. and rented his first room at the mere age of seven—the world truly has come full circle. “I think no differently than when I was living in the Sheraton or the Camelot Inn—I just feel like I have a bigger playing field now.”

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For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

DJ RAMA: ARCHITECT OF AN EMPIRE


Leslie Hayes President & Organizational Coach The Hayes Approach

W

e made it—12/21/12 is several weeks behind us! If you were among those who wondered, even for a minute, if 2012 might have marked the end of the need to worry about HR—sorry... 2013 is here and HR issues are alive and kicking.

One tough HR issue is dealing with those who aren’t contributing at the level the business needs. Sometimes this issue is a lack of desire or burnout, but often it comes from something that Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull in 1969 called “The Peter Principle.” For those unfamiliar with it,The Peter Principle is a description of what happens when a person is promoted or moved into a role that is too far beyond his current abilities. In large organizations, someone may be promoted prematurely. In small to mid-sized organizations, it commonly occurs as the organization grows faster than people in it, and, suddenly, Sam, who was doing a fantastic job as Sales Manager, is failing as Regional SalesVice President. Overlooking this mismatch compounds the matter as we secretly hope that the person will “get better” and the situation will go away. Reality check—ignoring problems almost never works… not with finances, not with health, and not with human resources. In fact, ignoring the problem or, better yet, pretending it doesn’t really exist, means that we have to invent other explanations for the facts at hand.We can tell Maria that we made a mistake and promoted her into a role for which she does not have the skills, or we can

HR

What to do with a “Peter Principle” About the author...

Professional Coach, Workplace Educator, HR Consultant and Author, Leslie Hayes has used her Psychology degree from Harvard University to spark a diverse career. Beginning as an abuse investigator and counselor, Leslie transitioned into Corporate HR, building HR teams from the ground up. The Hayes Approach, formed in 2007, provides a platform to assist clients large and small in all areas of workplace effectiveness and productivity.

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pretend that she has the skills and simply is not choosing to use them, which calls into question her work ethic and her character.While she may get angry if we tell her she doesn’t have the skills, we can inflict lasting damage if we cause her (and others) to question her character. What do we do with a Peter Principle? The remedies are simple, but take courage to implement. 1. Identify Peter. An individual who has “Peter Principled” can present in various ways—overwhelmed, procrastinating, defensive, blaming, physically ill—all ways of covering and deflecting the real issue that the work is too complex. Not everyone exhibiting these kinds of behaviors is a ‘Peter,’ but if you are suspicious, invest time in consistent observation. Is the individual a poor time manager or truly out of his depth? 2. Check your anger. By definition, a Peter has been around for a while and has done some good things in the past. Our feelings of loyalty and friendship often get tangled up with the growing recognition that the individual cannot do the current job and, to make it easier on ourselves, instead of getting sad, we get angry. Why can’t they understand? Why won’t they ask for help? Why won’t they just apply themselves a little more? Let me share something here about people…they can tell when you’re angry. In my experience, people may not know why you’re angry, but they will recognize that you are, and they will react to you accordingly. Instead, admit to yourself that it is an unfortunate situation for which you are partially to blame and which you must address. 3. Consider the options. Could the person grow into the role with specific training or coaching and, if so, are you willing to invest in it, either yourself or through a coach? Most coaching that provides long term results must take place over a period of months. Do you have that kind of time? What roles are available in your organization? Is there another role that is a better fit? 4. Be honest. Once you are certain you are facing a Peter and you have identified your options, be prepared to have an honest conversation. Discuss what the position requires, the gaps you see and the options you are willing to consider.All of us like to have a choice, so, when possible, provide at least two options. Dealing with a Peter is never fun, but facing it head on will always bring better results than ignoring it. We know when we’re not performing. Having everyone pretend that everything is fine is just as draining as acknowledging that we’re in too deep.At least admitting I’m in too deep gets me a shot at being rescued. When you reflect on your team, where do you need to admit that the problem isn’t going away and this New Year needs to bring some new options? Now, what are you going to do about it? For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/hr


t r a i l b l a z e r

Jay Dye

Founder/chief marketer IAG

Healthcare reform has already started affecting businesses— changing how and to whom benefits are provided. Fortunately, Jay Dye has created a plan to make adherence to the new laws as easy as possible.

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


t r a i l b l a z e r

TRAILBlazer. Insurance executives aren’t known for being well loved. In fact, most people will immediately think of a suitlike James Bond villain, complete with a master scheme for world domination. “We’re easy targets for politicians,” said Jay Dye, Founder and Chief Marketer of Insurance Applications Group. But while Jay isn’t a “suit” or a villain, he does he have a plan to save the private insurance world. Dye is leading IAG with cutting-edge insurance products that set them apart from their competitors in a market that seems to change on a daily basis. A third-generation insurance man whose primary focus is employee benefits insurance, Dye never intended to go into insurance. “My childhood was hearing people talk about insurance renewals and words I didn’t understand and wanting to jump out the window of the car,” says Dye, “I swore I would never get into this business.” But while attending Erskine College, Jay took a summer job at Cannon Mills, a textile company in Kannapolis, N.C. There, his interactions with the employees gave him an insightful perspective on the hourly wage employee and their needs. “They were the nicest people, the salt of the earth. But when it came to insurance they were victims of an outdated system.” Eventually, he says, “What started as a summer job in school turned into a lifelong career.” That career started as a project manager for Liberty Life Insurance Company in Greenville where he was part of the implementation team of the first payroll deducted Universal Life plan marketed as an employer sponsored benefit. Many of the features of that original plan are now part of the health insurance plans Dye designs today. After several years at Liberty, and then with Great Southern Life Insurance Company, Dye formed

Insurance Applications Group (IAG) in Greenville, in 1999—a company which has set itself apart as a national leader in supplying employee benefits to large companies. With that leadership came a number of challenges—namely, navigating the many insurance changes taking place due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. “Health care reform imposed an unbelievable burden on everyone,” he says. “There was a period where our company could have been wiped out. So, we immediately formed a task force to deal with the realities of health care reform, while our competitors were banking solely on lobbying efforts. The

With that leadership came a number of challenges—namely, navigating the many insurance changes taking place due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. bottom line is we are still here and growing, and the others are gone.” One of the many challenges comes from employers facing one of two options: a tax of $2,000 per full-time employee, per year, for not offering major medical insurance; or, continuing to offer the costly benefit, which averages an employer $8,000 per year, per employee. With the certain increase of health insurance rates and the regulations that are part of the new health care law, paying the tax and letting employees choose insurance from an exchange is becoming a real option.

“CFOs have a fiduciary responsibility to their investors and shareholders to consider all options,” states Dye, but he notes that this otherwise practical decision can damage the employer/employee bond—one which is foundational to the American economy and free market system. In response, IAG commissioned a national research analysis and found that 56 percent of employees incur medical claims of less than $1,000 annually, and 85 percent incur less than $5,000 annually. So, the company began to develop a program where an employer could opt out of major medical, pay the tax, and purchase a stable layer of basic health care benefits with no deductible or copay. The tax, combined with this basic coverage, would cost an employer an average of $4,800 per year—more than the $2,000 tax, but less than the $8,000+ major medical rate. Called Defined Contribution Advantage (DCA), the program is designed to cover 85 to 95 percent of the average employee’s health care needs. The employee can then purchase catastrophic coverage from the exchange. Because of its growth and innovations, IAG has made Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 three times, and received the National Association of Health Underwriters’ highest award in 2012. The company has also hosted webinars explaining the new health reform law to more than 1,000 companies. It’s this out-of-the-box, unconventional approach that has not only kept IAG alive during such a challenging time for their industry, but has actually accelerated their growth and put them in the creative front of the industry. Dye notes that that’s where he’s happiest. “Being able to create new products that improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people…it doesn’t get any better than that.” Q1 2013 // Business Black Box

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For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

By Josh Overstreet


Steven Hahn Director of Entrepreneurial Systems Spartanburg chamber of commerce

F Entrepreneur

or the very first time since 1776, the image in the crystal ball is out of focus in its premonition of America’s place in tomorrow’s global scene. In light of the current worldwide recession, coupled with the recent growth of the BRIC countries, the whole world watches our nation closely to see whether the greatest economic superpower in history will emerge from the crisis, its dominance unscathed. Inside these United States, federal, state and local governments, private corporations, civic organizations and educators are all diligently spearheading initiatives aimed at sparking the next chapter in our economic history. Perched at the crest of the list of possible strategies is the subject of entrepreneurism. As French words go, the term “entrepreneur,” first coined in 1755, is relatively new. And it may be safe to say that at no other time has the language been used in American dialogue more times than in the last twelve months. Entrepreneurism has been Uncle Sam’s resounding weapon of choice to battle the downturned economy. During the past election, the term was mentioned in practically every discussion on economic recovery, by Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and hundreds of other politicians. Over and over, candidates cited entrepreneurship as the dual edged sword that could be used to boost the

Entrepreneurs: The next generation of heroes About the author...

Steven Hahn is a former partner in a management consulting firm, and has launched several successful businesses. He presently serves as the Director of Entrepreneurial Systems at the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

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economy and reduce unemployment… both in one fell swoop. States and municipalities across the nation have followed the piper en masse with the formation of hundreds of startup support programs. In the Upstate, just in the past two years, communities stretching from Lake Hartwell to the North Carolina border have all answered the call to action in one form or another. There exists some fairly strong rationale behind this collective American enthusiasm. By definition, financial risk aside, entrepreneurism demands two things—creativity and hard work. While Americans far from control a monopoly on hard work, the last one hundred years of business history has clearly shown that our unique culture is the best nursery for commercial creativity. This may be a result of our consumer driven economy, the unsurpassed prevalence of popular media, our reverence toward individuality, capitalistic ideals or a combination of all of these and many other facets of life in America. For whatever reason, we undoubtedly possess a certain knack for business ingenuity that does not seem to exist, at least at this level, in any country around the world. Save Sir Richard Branson, when such cases arise in other countries, it is often in some form of imitation. Given the present global business environment, commercial creativity is our greatest resource, and may prove to be the very key to staking a strong position in the post-recession era. American heroes, once defined by iconic figures the likes of Paul Revere, Babe Ruth and Douglas MacArthur have, in recent times, been replaced by Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In this brave new world of blinding instantaneity, the latter three may be precisely the national heroes we need to inspire, and energize, our next generation to capitalize on creativity, America’s competitive advantage on the rest of the planet.

For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/law


Imagine investing months of

research, development and money into a potential invention.

It’s your baby,

and you’ve never felt more proud as you prepare to finally file a patent on it. But when you attempt to file it, you discover

another company has already filed. The kicker? They haven’t done even a fraction of the work you have. In fact, all they have is an idea. But they were able to file the patent before you and

it’s now theirs to pursue.

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A

s of March 15, 2013, this scenario will become reality for companies across the country due to the America Invents Act. The question of the hour, however, is whether or not this law will benefit both large and small businesses alike, or if it will be a boon to one over the other. Officially known as the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the law was a rare bipartisan effort for Washington. Sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the legislation was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. It contained several changes to the current patent system, but the most prominent change—and the most controversial—is the switch from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first (inventor)-to-file” system. The United States is among the last countries to shift its patent program to this new system, which is one of the reasons why Leahy and Smith pushed for the law’s passage. They also predict that it will help lower the costs of filing and defending a patent. Typically, a simple- to mediumcomplexity patent application will cost between $5,500 to $6,500, while more complex mechanical device, electrical and computer software patents can cost up to nearly $10,000. The cost of a defense of that patent, however— should anyone challenge you on it—depends entirely upon exactly how long it remains in the court system. If you’re able to settle the case early, you’ll only spend a few thousand. However, if it stalls for long periods of time, your total cost will climb at an alarming rate and potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars. Supporters of the changes say that there will be equal opportunity for both large and small businesses.Tom Strange, a board member for SCRA and SC Launch, says the new filing method will make the process more cut and dry. “By going to the first-to-file, it makes [who gets the patent] so much clearer,” he says. “The person that files first has the priority, and so I think it can work toward the small company a little more strongly. No longer do you have to worry about having deep enough pockets to survive the discovery.” The “discovery” Strange refers to is a process that can take place under the current system when two companies have filed patents on the same project. Both companies have the opportunity to send attorneys or other representatives to the other company to investigate who knew what and when. This can lead to lengthy delays and trigger higher costs in the process. But by switching to a first-to-file, Strange says, this method will no longer be used. “There’s no more option for big companies to bully the small ones on simply the first to invent question,” he says. “The first to invent no longer matters; it’s first-to-file, so if [small businesses] are out there first then they’ve got it.”

Chris DeSoiza, Vice President of Research and Development at Milliken & Company, also sees potential in the new law. “Moving to a first-to-file system does offer some advantage versus the existing first to invent system,” he says. “The first-to-invent system requires significant record keeping and can lead to drawn out proceedings and costly lawsuits when companies (or individuals) believe they invented something first. It also requires global companies to operate in two different modes, as most of the world already uses a first-to-file system.” Some opponents to the law, however, argue that it is unconstitutional because it no longer protects the rights of inventors and instead protects the rights of filers. “My speculation is it will survive constitutionality,” says Doug Kim, a patent lawyer with McNair Law Firm in Greenville. “They will say, ‘Well, it does still protect inventors. The inventor who invents, creates the prototype, gets it ready for patenting and files will be the one who wins. If you just have an idea in a lab notebook and you never make anything, are you really an inventor?’” Opponents also believe that it will prove to be more beneficial to large corporations than to small businesses, an argument partly based on the fact that each patent costs a great deal of money and typically, small businesses can’t afford to go out and file patents on multiple projects at once. “If the new rule says the faster you get to the patent office the better, you have to develop your prototype faster, you have to do your R&D faster, you have to hire a patent lawyer faster—this all requires money,” Kim says. “To even have a system in place, you have to have resources to do that.” Matt Gevaert, CEO at Kiyatec Inc., which develops 3D cell culture technology, agrees. “With the incentive of file early, file often, every filing costs money. So right there, you’ve introduced a dynamic that says people with bigger budgets can file more and so you have changed the balance between small business and large business.

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The founding fathers got it right. They changed the ”patent system because of the way the United States wanted to do it and the result was

the United States has one of the strongest patent systems and some of the most valuable patents in the world.” “History will tell you that that’s true as well,” he adds. “Canada changed to a first-to-file system several years ago, and if you look at analysis of their filing behavior, the pattern of who filed and how often, they shift in demographics between small and large filers. People with small budgets now file proportionately less patents in Canada than those with large budgets before they made that switch.” Virginia Simpson, chairman of Simpson & Partners in Greenville, also cited Canada’s program as an example of how the first-to-file system decreases innovation among entrepreneurs. “I don’t think that anytime the United States rejects a leadership position it strengthens us,” she says. “It’s always in our best interest not to say, ‘Let’s follow and harmonize with the rest of the world,’ but rather to explain why we do things differently.” Kim agrees, adding, “The founding fathers got it right. They changed the patent system because of the way the United States wanted to do it and the result was the United States has one of the strongest patent systems and some of the most valuable patents in the world. So why are we screwing with that? Just to harmonize with the rest of the world? So it’s possible that we will undermine our own patent system. The stuff we’re hearing about how it’s good for small inventors, I just don’t think it’s true.” Jerry Barber, an Upstate entrepreneur with more than 50 patents in a variety of fields, including amusement rides and wind turbines, says he didn’t pay much attention to the law and its changes initially, but he now considers it to be a devastating move by the government.

“The United States, with our system, is by far the most inventive, innovative country in the world,” he says. “No one else has come close to doing it the way we do it, yet we want to change to be like other people. So much creativity happening in this country has been individuals working as a small group coming up with a patent and going forward. I think this change in the patent law is going to really put a huge damper on this country’s ability to innovate.” But outside of inventors like Barber, the law will also have an effect on students­ —namely those at colleges and universities across the country, including Clemson University’s Research Foundation, which manages intellectual property developed from research conducted by university faculty and students. “The goal is to protect the invention and get it into the hands of a company that can actually make the product, so it’s another way for public dissemination of the knowledge and the research results that are occurring at the university,” says JoAnna Floyd, assistant director of licensing and contracts at CURF. Floyd says the Association of American Universities raised concerns about the legislation when it was first introduced because they were afraid it would have adverse effects on the work of its members’ students and faculty. The association implied that it would give full support to the legislation if certain concessions were made. In fact, a public statement made on June 23, 2005, says in part, “If Congress elects to move to a first inventor to file system, we believe it is imperative that U.S. patent law maintain three components of the current U.S. patent system:

“So much creativity happening in this country has been individuals working as a small group coming up with a patent and going forward. I think this change in the patent law is going to really put a huge damper on this country’s ability to innovate.” 46

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It would seem then, that the changes affect different groups in different ways. For businesses like Kiyatec, Gevaert says the new system will not have much of an effect on business strategy, but it will add more consideration to what they do file. “It probably would raise the bar as far as what we are going to file,” he explains. “We have to keep more powder in the keg so that when we have that killer idea we actually can afford to go file quicker like the system is intended for, because you don’t have the protections that you used to in the first to invent system.” During the passage of the AIA, Leahy and Smith also argued that the legislation would lead to more innovation among businesses, but Simpson and Kim both say that’s unlikely.

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the opportunity to file provisional applications

2

the 12-month grace period for publishing articles containing a disclosure of the invention

3

the provision of current U.S. patent law requiring an applicant to sign an oath that he or she is an inventor of the claimed invention

But from there, something seems to have been lost in translation. “The grace period seemed clear in the legislation but now that I have seen the guidelines that have been proposed, I’m a little concerned by the way it’s been interpreted by the PTO (Patent and Trademark office), they seem to be imposing a narrower interpretation of that grace period exception,” Floyd says. The AAU has also shown hesitancy to the finalized guidelines. On October 9, 2012, the association released a statement saying,“In our view, USPTO in the Examination Guidelines proposes an interpretation of the AIA grace period statutory language that substantially narrows its scope without any clear legal or policy basis. ... [This] would be directly counter to the university mission of broad and prompt dissemination of the results of university fundamental research, depriving the scientific and scholarly communities and the broader public of new knowledge. The consequences of this interpretation would also run counter to longstanding U.S. science policy—and indeed, a basic objective of patent law—that supports such broad dissemination.This is precisely the outcome that we sought to avoid throughout the patent reform process.”

Smaller businesses that cannot afford to pursue multiple patents will put great projects on hold while they pursue a fewer number of projects that they think have greater chance of succeeding. “Say you have 10 projects but can only afford to chase three,” Kim says. “If that’s the result, then some people would say that because those seven ideas are going to get shelved, that’s not fostering innovation. But others would say yes it is, because it’s going to make them take those three ideas and push them into the market better and faster. So maybe what it will do is not foster innovation but it may promote commercialization of innovation.” It’s hard for innovation to grow, however, if companies both large and small alike are having to keep projects closer to the vest. Simpson says she expects innovation to diminish as small businesses will no longer feel comfortable talking about their research. Secrecy, she explains, is bad for the creative process. “People need intercourse around ideas in order to refine and expand their creativity, and the more you [keep something secret] the more you say your ideas are not your ideas but they belong to anybody who grabs hold and lays claims to them first. That’s a chilling effect. To me, it’s part of the ‘you didn’t build that’ concept.” Barber agrees, explaining that when he first began to explore starting his company BarberWind and filing wind turbine patents, he understood the science behind wind turbines but he spent several years educating himself and talking to wind and aeronautical experts prior to filing any of his patents.

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are always suspicious about big changes in the law ”butPeople this is one that’s had many years of reflection and review and while there are some negatives that can come out of it ...

I think the good more than outweighs the bad in terms of leaving the doubt and concerns,making it a simple and easy to understand process”

“When you have ideas you’ve got to share them because as you share them they evolve,” he says. “Most patentable things are an evolution and the evolution of your thoughts. ... If the new law had been in effect when I started four years ago on the wind turbine stuff, I don’t think I would have gotten nearly where I am [today].” In contrast, groups like Milliken, whose R&D collaborates with other groups and individuals, have already put processes in place to protect intellectual property, but still allow for collaboration with others. “For Milliken, and indeed many other companies, firstto-file does not have a major impact on how we approach innovation,” DeSoiza notes. “We are a global innovation company who successfully works within both systems today. We believe we are able to do that by quite simply following good business practices; we use confidentiality agreements that clearly outline IP rights for each entity right up front. This practice enables us to freely collaborate and exchange ideas with large and small partners alike.” It will take several years before we know whether or not the change will be an overall positive or negative outcome for the United States, but as Kim points out, whether businesses like it or not, it’s now law and everyone needs to be ready for the changes. He advises businesses to file patents on whatever they’ve got sitting around in their R&D because after March 15, everything will be different. Meanwhile, patent offices are most likely seeing a flood of patent filings and will continue to up until March 15, which also means patent law offices will be overwhelmed with last minute filings. Therefore, Kim notes that clients should submit their paperwork sooner rather than later because some files may not have enough time for processing if they wait too late. Additionally, Gevaert stresses that inventors educate themselves on the differences between the first-to-invent and first-to-file systems.

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“You need to proactively generate a plan for what you need to file,” he says. “You have to find that window of time to take advantage of the current system and the opportunity to present for small businesses.” Also, businesses can use organizations already in place, like SCRA and SC Launch, to help with any questions or concerns. Strange also suggests businesses find an attorney and marketing professionals they can trust who will give them good business advice. “We’re always willing and able to sit down and help them understand the value proposition of their idea,” Strange says. “A patent with a high value proposition can be the enabler for getting the kind of funding you’re looking for and really making your business take off. “People are always suspicious about big changes in the law but this is one that’s had many years of reflection and review and while there are some negatives that can come out of it ... I think the good more than outweighs the bad in terms of leaving the doubt and concerns, making it a simple and easy to understand process,” he adds. The legislation has been a learning curve for everyone as they learn as much as they can about the changes and apply more effort than ever before in getting their patents filed. But Kim says it can turn out to be a positive if everyone bands together and helps small businesses conquer the new mountain in front of them. “What I hope happens is...we will look at this and go, ‘All right, how can we help the small- to mid-size companies?’” Kim says. “‘What are the ways we can angle this to help them,’ because I think that’s where they need all the help right now.” Finally, Kim notes the importance of the smaller businesses in invention and innovation.“I firmly believe the small- to mid-sized companies are going to be the drivers of this economy for the next half a decade or so. If we screw that up too much we’ve got a problem in this country.”


andy coburn Attorney Wyche Law Firm

B l aw

onuses used to be so easy. A simple bonus required no lawyer and no formal legal document—just a few bullet points and board approval, and you were good to go. But then Congress added new deferred compensation tax rules under Section 409A, and things got much more complicated. Companies have become accustomed to Section 409A compliance in many areas, such as deferred compensation plans, but still seem to struggle with bonus, severance and change of control arrangements. The penalties for noncompliance are painful, most significantly a twenty percent excise tax imposed on the executive receiving the compensation. Here are some tips to stay out of trouble. Section 409A is everywhere. The most important point is to realize that virtually every bonus, severance or change of control arrangement is potentially subject to Section 409A. For example, the annual performance bonus is a common area for Section 409A problems. Companies typically set performance goals each year and pay out a bonus early in the following year based on the extent to which the goals are met. Such bonuses are commonly paid out after the company’s audited financial statements have been prepared. Unfortunately, this almost always occurs more than two and a half months into the next year and therefore makes the bonuses subject to Section 409A. The good news is that documenting such a bonus in a way that complies with Section 409A is usually easy. The bad

Bonus, Severance & Change of Control Arrangements About the author...

As an attorney with Wyche, Andy represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, private equity investments, securities offerings and debt financing transactions. Andy also advises public and private companies with respect to executive compensation, stock plans and employee benefits. Outside of his legal profession, Andy is trustee of the Greenville Little Theatre and the Meals on Wheels of Greenville Endowment and serves as a Business Black Box advisor in law.

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news is such bonuses very often do not comply if the company has not had them reviewed by an expert adviser. Section 409A is not DIY. As suggested above, Section 409A compliance is not well suited to a “do it yourself ” approach. For example, the compliance issues for change of control payments are completely different depending on whether payment is triggered by a change of control alone or only if there is also a termination of employment. Severance arrangements can qualify for various exemptions from Section 409A, but each exemption has completely separate requirements. Bonus arrangements come in all shapes and sizes, and the steps necessary to ensure Section 409A compliance or exemption are almost equally varied. Beware of release agreements. Another classic 409A problem is a caused by release agreements. Many severance arrangements require the executive to sign a written agreement releasing all potential legal claims against the company in order to receive severance payments. A severance arrangement that otherwise completely complies with Section 409A can violate Section 409A if the language regarding the release requirement is not properly drafted. As in the case of annual performance bonuses, Section 409A compliance for bonuses, severance benefits and change of control arrangements often is not that difficult or time consuming. Unfortunately, however, compliance (or exemption) must always be verified and not assumed. Remember, problems in this area by definition affect your key executives, who need to be worried about running your business and not about tax compliance issues.

For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/law


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By Josh Overstreet

In the morning, it’s likely that you get up, walk to the kitchen, get coffee and get ready for work.You grab your car keys and begin driving toward the office on the same road you use every day.You know which traffic lights are longer or shorter; you know how to avoid traffic hotspots. You don’t give a second thought to your daily transportation, and it’s just automatic. Not so for Alissa Duncan. When Duncan looks at traffic and transportation maps she sees it in the same light as a computer technician sees a motherboard or an artist with an abstract painting. Duncan grew up in Spartanburg, but moved around because her father was a nuclear engineer. She went to the University of South Carolina, where she received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, but “you can’t do much with a degree in anthropology,” she notes. Moving to New Orleans, she began working as a veterinary technician, then moved back to the Upstate where she continued to work as a veterinary technician with the Humane Society. Eventually she decided to go back to grad school at Clemson for a degree in city and regional planning, during which she interned with SPATS (or Spartanburg Area Transportation Study, the transportation focus of Spartanburg County Planning and

Development), and most recently served as their sustainability planner. Through SPATS, where she focused on air quality, regional transportation, sustainability, transit, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities, she became involved with InnoMobility, a conference that brings together businesses, entrepreneurs and planners who are creating the next innovations in transportation and transportation systems. After being at the conference, Alissa wanted to see it expand from a predominantly automobile-focused event and include other areas such as bicycles and pedestrian transportation. Through this desire and through InnoMobility, she met Sue Zielinski, the managing director of SMART at the University of Michigan. The program seeks to connect all the transportation assets and leaders of a community and begin to plan on how to use every bit of transportation and transportation technology in the smartest, most innovative and most efficient way possible. “SMART is about equity in transportation. It’s about choices, economic development; it’s about connections,” she says. “In order to gain all of those things to make a connective system have to include lots of different stakeholders.” Based on Zielinski’s model

and mentoring, Alissa formed SMART Upstate, and through a memorandum of understanding she united SPATS, its Greenville counterpart GPATS, and the Appalachian Council of Governments in order to cover both rural and urban transportation in the Upstate. At the first meeting 25 people from all different sectors in the Upstate—public, to private, to nonprofit, entrepreneurs and business leaders—held a mapping session in which they created a map of the transportation infrastructure in order to know what they were working with. “So what the agreed upon solution to that was to create a website that has all of the infrastructure listed for Greenville and Spartanburg for transportation that anybody can see and can be interactive.” The mapping process also showed current gaps in the Upstate’s transportation infrastructure such as lack of transportation for seniors and undocumented persons. Another is the air quality which has teetered on the brink of okay to now being an issue with ozone pollution increasing. “That’s because of all the single occupancy vehicles, not carpooling, or taking a bus...and it’s putting a lot of pollution into the air.”

But Alissa doesn’t just want to fill in the gaps. Instead, she wants to create a transportation environment in the Upstate that will catch national attention. “My long term vision is to see the Upstate as a transportation hub,” she said,“We have so many assets here in terms of transportation and a lot of bright, young, and vibrant minds ready to go and work on it.” However, this new direction isn’t without its own challenges— the biggest being that people are not going to easily give up what they are already used to. “As a public sector employee I see people are very married to what they normally do and what they are used to doing.” Still, with the added benefits of better and better transportation and innovation, people may be hard pressed to stick to established ways. Alissa said that the better ways a business can transport goods and services as well as improved ways for people to travel to places of business can only be a good thing for economic growth. Having recently joined economic group Ten at the Top, Duncan is poised to make a huge impact across the Upstate. “Transportation and economic development are intrinsically linked. If you have better transportation, you have better economic development.”

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For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

How you get back and forth to work, home, and shopping probably isn’t something you think about a lot. But while most of us are on autopilot as soon as we hit the car, Alissa Duncan cares about every detail in how you get to work every day. After all, it’s her job to figure out how you’re going to get there tomorrow.


Chip Felkel CEO The Felkel Group

T politic s

he 120th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly was officially convened on January 8th. This Session should be an interesting one, for several reasons, given the issues that are expected to be addressed as well as some changes in the respective bodies that are worth noting. In November, all 170 legislative seats were up, 124 in the House and 46 in the Senate. Retirements and primaries, led to significant turnover in the Senate, and some changes in the House as well.While normally in Columbia the age-old adage of “nothing ever changes” fits, at least this year that is not completely accurate. In the Senate—the institution that thrives on long-winded deliberation and of course, seniority—a bunch of newbies are arriving this Session.There are 11 freshmen—the most in recent memory—including three from the Upstate (Sen.Tom Corbin, Sen. Karl Allen and Sen. Ross Turner).While these three get their “sea legs,” the Upstate can take comfort and hopefully benefit from Sen. Larry Martin chairing the very important Judiciary Committee, Sen. Mike Fair chairing Corrections, Sen. DannyVerdin chairing Agriculture and Natural Resources and Sen.Thomas Alexander leading the General Committee. Sen. Peeler of Gaffney will continue as Majority Leader in the Senate. Over in the House, while Charleston’s Bobby Harrell remains as Speaker, Greenville’s Rep. Bruce Bannister, seen by many as a potential candidate for speaker in the future (he represents the same seat previously held by

An Overview of the 120th Session of the S.C. Statehouse About the author...

Chip Felkel is a veteran public affairs strategist, media relations expert and advocacy innovator with over two decades of experience in the State and National arenas. Felkel’s extensive political resume includes roles with Campbell for Governor, the South Carolina Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, as well as the 1988 Bush-Quayle Campaign (Executive Director, Georgia), DeMint 2002 Congressional Reelect (campaign manager) and in strategic and communications roles with Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004. He also serves as a political analyst for WYFF (NBC).

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former Speaker Rex Carter and speaker-turned -Ambassador David Wilkins) will now serve as Majority Leader. Rep. Brian White of Anderson retains his role as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Bill Sandifer returns to lead Labor, Commerce and Industry.And two special elections required by Allen and Corbin moving to the Senate, will lead to a couple more new faces at some point in the Spring. But enough on the personnel; what is really important are the issues that absolutely must be addressed. At the end of the last Session, it was a given that tax reform and government restructuring would be top priorities. Both Governor Haley and Speaker Harrell have laid out their own plans for tax reform and there are other plans as well. As for ethics, there are no less than five different committees or study groups who expect to offer proposals, and, given that both the Governor and the Speaker made news on this topic in the fall, it is a pretty safe bet we will hear a lot about ethics “reform” from January until June.What we must have is real reporting, real transparency and real penalties for failure to do so.Without it, the public will never see it as real reform. Government restructuring remains a hot topic. It is still badly needed and was certainly going to be part of the debate. In fact, the concept of restructuring, and accountability is going to be helped somewhat by the overriding issue that will trump everything, the security breach at the Department of Revenue that lead to millions of personal records being stolen by a hacker. This is the top issue right now and rightly so. Hearings began in November and you can be assured everyone who is anyone, or who thinks they are, will offer a solution to this mess. In her own words, the breach has been Haley’s Hugo. A better hurricane analogy would be to call it her Hurricane Floyd (a reference to former Gov. Hodges failure to act quickly during the evacuation of the LowCountry). Regardless, this one is going to “leave a mark,” and how Haley handles it going forward could clearly affect her shot at reelection, should she seek a second term. But probably the biggest dynamic will be the continued friction between Governor Haley and the General Assembly. The defeat of one of the governor’s most vocal critics, Sen. Jakie Knotts, is a plus, frankly, in many ways. Still, there remains a large gap in her relationships with other Senate and House Leaders, as well as others members of the State Budget and Control Board.The hiring of Bryan Stirling as the governor’s new Chief of Staff can, and should be, of great help—he is a seasoned pro and well-respected in both bodies. Governor Haley is very capable. She was elected in a tough election and won a primary over a sitting congressman, the attorney general and the lieutenant governor, no small feat. She is considered by many outside the state as a rising star in the GOP, but she will never meet those lofty expectations, unless she finds a way to successfully work with the leadership in the House and Senate. It is as simple as that, and we sincerely hope she does. For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/politics


Starting a business is no easy task. It’s a daunting job that even some of the best risk-takers can find themselves overwhelmed by— and one that first-time starters can find terrifying. It becomes, then, extremely important to have a network of resources in place, to help cultivate and shape those entrepreneurs— those start-up companies—into viable, successful businesses that can grow. Fortunately, just such a network exists in Spartanburg County. With a common vision, each group adds a unique and valuable piece to the total effort. Here, we take a look at eight organizations who are doing whatever they can to foster the start-ups, and in doing so, shape their future business community.


Chambers of Commerce, by nature, are highly focused on the support of entrepreneurs and small businesses.The Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce is no different, unless you consider their recent involvement in a group called SERN. Formally the Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Resource Network, SERN is a community-wide effort that brings together several organizations in Spartanburg who are directly involved with the task of promoting entrepreneurism in the area. And while the Chamber is one of six members of SERN, Steven Hahn, Director of Entrepreneurial Systems for the Spartanburg Chamber, has high expectation for Spartanburg’s future and current entrepreneurs. “The entrepreneurial culture in Spartanburg is growing at a significant pace,” he says. “Just in the past year, we have reviewed hundreds of business projects, launched several local startup competitions and are now poised to announce even more innovative programs in 2013.” For Hahn, there is no better time to focus on the growth and cultivation of the small businesses and entrepreneurs in Spartanburg, and he hopes that more and more people will consider how they might be involved. “It is a very exciting time in Spartanburg and people from other places are beginning to take notice. We are working hard at building a more entrepreneurial community and invite people with business ideas to come and join the enthusiasm.”


Anyone in city government can tell you how crucial businesses are to a city’s vitality. In Spartanburg, the city not only understands the critical nature of the economic pillars—they are willing to help cultivate more of them. Called the “Main Street Challenge,” the City of Spartanburg has initiated a recruitment program to encourage new or existing businesses to make their home in downtown Spartanburg. Along with office space downtown, the program will award three cash prizes to businesses, as well as numerous in-kind services like signage, marketing, advertising and architecture. “This contest will bring our city three new businesses, fill three vacant store spaces and provide us with a couple handfuls of business leads,” says Patty Bock, Director of Economic Development for the City of Spartanburg. “We’ll follow up on those and perhaps we still help them open a business along our downtown streets. Business will breed business.” The program, which will launch in January and end with a winner announcement in May 2013, is proof of the level of confidence that the city has—not only in its businesses, but in its downtown, which they want to cultivate to be a diverse community that can build upon itself. “We need to be proactive and work on new job growth and potential expansion of our current businesses,” says Bock. “We need to be involved and pay attention to entrepreneurs. They are the bread and butter to the economy. They may need guidance, and we want to help to those that have the greatest probability for success.” Still, it’s important to note that downtown isn’t the only region that the City is focused on. They also offer a Business Corridor program, which includes certain designated parcels within the city—businesses, should they meet certain qualifications, are eligible for a tax abatement.


For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

When Charlotte’s Small Business Development Center was backlogged, managing a wait list of about six weeks, many of those waiting decided to visit the recently re-opened Spartanburg SBDC (Small Business Development Center) instead. Since then, Director Beth Smith has seen a continual uptick in people coming to the center for help with their businesses. With services that include consulting, management training, business seminars, and even a Veterans Business Program, the SBDC is a place where any kind of start up or small business can expect to find something they can use. In addition to that, the SBDC is a member of SERN, which allows for expanded expertise across the member groups, when needed. It’s a feature that Beth Smith sees as vitally important. “You can’t get very much done when there’s one of you in your space, but we can get a ton done as a group.” Noting that

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the main difference between the SERN members lies only in how they are funded, she also is quick to mention that they all have the same goal. “We are all interested in the same thing—we all want businesses to grow.” For Smith, who has a background in digital with Motorola, and a background with emerging markets, that collaboration only adds to what the groups can offer the Spartanburg entrepreneurs and self-starters. “What’s cool is that when someone comes to me and wants to know about something like R&D, I can say, ‘Well, I know it like this, but let me introduce you to someone who knows it another way,’” she says. “In any case, you’ve got to have the right people, giving them the right advice.”


For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

In 2011, SCORE helped U.S. citizens create 67,098 new jobs in our economy. On a local level, the Piedmont SCORE helps through mentoring and providing business start-ups with training to help them as they take the proverbial “plunge.” In fact, the group claims 40 mentors who are “committed to helping entrepreneurs start a new business, or build up an existing business,” as well as providing a five-part workshop series designed to get start-ups off the ground. In fact, the workshops offered are two-fold: the first offers information designed to help start-ups determine their “go or no-go” status. The second through fifth offer more in-depth planning sessions—focusing on everything from marketing to financing. “We grow business,” says Eddie West, Director of Piedmont SCORE, which serves the Spartanburg area, as well as Greenville and Anderson counties. For West, who has a background with Milliken, that can mean any number of things. “That may mean starting businesses, or that may mean just helping. But in the end, we want to start businesses.”

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Just off I-85, in the middle of a Free Trade Zone, sits Spartanburg Community College’s Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Development. With a focus on four major areas—Soft Landings, Employment Services, a Small Business Incubator and what is called “Special Projects”—the Center offers a number of opportunities to businesses of all sizes and types. Companies like Jankel used soft landing services to establish a presence in the U.S. far before they built operations here. Master Precision Global was the first company to use the business incubator. Companies like Adidas and EchoStar have taken advantage of Workforce services, to take applications for job openings on site, do screenings and training, at no cost to the company. Businesses of all sizes and stages can use the center, and start up incentives include up to a free year of office space, technical training and support, and even cultural support which includes immigration and translation services, if needed. In short, the programs are well used. The problem has been that they are lesser known.

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“Our biggest failing in Spartanburg was that we weren’t getting the word out,” says Mike Forrester, the Director of Economic Development at the center. While the college has taken steps to improve that— they just created a video that showcases the center and all it offers, and have better informed economic development groups on the services that they offer—it’s also their position as a member of SERN that helps local businesses get started. “Now we have folks in place to help guide people where to go, so they’re not wasting their time trying to find out information,”he says. “We have an advisory group that will meet with the potential business start up, look at the business plan, and decide if they are ready. If they aren’t ready, I can revert them to someone else in [SERN] to help them get ready.”


When the University of South Carolina opened the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg in 2010, it was immediately lauded for the services it could offer the Spartanburg business community. Known as “The George,” the college offers a staunch business curriculum for its students, including courses on new business enterprise and financial analysis. But outside of the classroom walls, a world of opportunity has unfolded at the college. “The main reason we’re downtown is for engagement,” says Frank Rudisill, Interim Dean and Professor of Management at The George. “It’s a win-win for our students to participate as interns—they gain that experience, just having that critical mass of activity is beneficial to all of us.” There’s also a growing amount of co-work space within the building available to businesses, and occupants of The George would have access to the 23 faculty in the college, many of whom have terminal degrees as well as real-world experience, creating an incubator, of sorts, surrounded by the business college itself. Of the faculty, Rudisill notes that their availability to businesses occupying The George is vital. “They can mentor, they can coach, they can offer the technical advice that startup companies would need...it’s a lot of resources.”

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In 2012, Greenville hosted the first Iron Yard group, helping launch 10 tech startups over the course of a few months. In 2012, the Iron Yard will add Spartanburg to its cities—with a focus on technology in healthcare. It’s a perfect fit for the region, which is home to two major hospital systems, a college of chiropractic and many more medical services, offices and providers, as well as the high level of college-age students in the area. For Peter Barth, founder of the Iron Yard and Chief Technology Officer at SinglePoint, the two programs in neighboring cities are a great fit.

Barth notes that Spartanburg’s unique situation as a college hub offers great opportunities to the program. “There’s a great opportunity with the local universities as well as the corporations that are there.” Iron Yard will soon occupy co-work space in the HubBub building, and will, like the preceding program, accept 10 teams for the program, which starts on July 15. “It’s becoming more and more popular to support startups in the Upstate,” Barth says. “We see it as complementary. It’ll be great to have the two related communities but with slightly different focuses.”


Wofford is well-known for its academic excellence, but may be lesser known for its i t s focus on students as future entrepreneurs. But one could argue that it’s the sole purpose within the walls of the Mungo Center for Professional Excellence. With programs that include Venture, where students can get their business ideas off the ground through consulting, mentoring and training, to the Success Initiative, which “teaches innovation and creative problem-solving through project-based experience,” the Mungo center is designed with budding entrepreneurs in mind. They have even started a business plan competition to encourage students to bring their ideas to life. “A college’s role is to provide a support network— advisors, professors, and alumni mentors—to student entrepreneurs, as well as resources and physical space to get started,” says Scott Cochran, Dean of the Mungo Center. “But the most important thing colleges can do is provide encouragement.These students are bright and driven.They just need someone to tell them to go for it and that it’s okay to fail. Just because their company fails doesn’t mean they are a failure. Sometimes that’s all they need.” Through all the services the college provides,Cochran has noticed an uptick in the number of risk-takers coming through—and out of— Wofford. “I’ve seen more students—particularly more women—gravitating to entrepreneurial ventures over the last two years than in the past,” he says.“One reason is that the slow economy has made entrepreneurship less risky, from a historical perspective, in comparison to the traditional job route...Students are confident and, at the same time, realistic.We tell them this is the best time in their life to take a chance and pursue a dream.” 69


Evelyn lugo Founder & president SCHCC

R

ecientemente nos sentamos para hacerle unas preguntas a Gustavo Nieves, director de asuntos gubernamentales de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Carolina del Sur, acerca del tema de la inflación en Carolina del Sur.

e n E s pañol

P: La inflación en Estados Unidos se elevó por una taza de 0.6029% durante el mes de Agosto 2012, en relación con el mes anterior. En lo que va de los últimos 12 meses, el costo de vida de los habitantes estadounidenses ha subido al 1.7%. ¿Conoce usted cual ha sido el porcentaje para Carolina del Sur, específicamente para Greenville? R: El porcentaje para Carolina del Sur, de acuerdo a información provista por el gobierno, es la misma que las cifras que citas en el primer punto. Esto es así más que todo por que el estudio toma el Sur como una área. En otras palabras, el estudio no se lleva a nivel estatal sino regional. Quizás hayan estudios independientes, pero no conozco de ellos. Estas cifras son bastante realísticas en cuanto a la inflación en nuestra área de Greenville. P: De acuerdo a varias herramientas para calcular el costo de la vida en los distintos estados. Greenville sigue siendo uno de los mejores sitios para enfrentar la inflación. ¿Cuál es su parecer al respecto? R: Greenville es una buena ciudad para enfrentar la inflación. Los valores de las propiedades, el bajo costo

INFLACIÓN EN CAROLINA DEL SUR

About the author...

Evelyn Lugo is the founder and President of the South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SCHCC). With a background in business administration, Ms. Lugo obtained additional experience in working with corporations such as Eastman Kodak, Abbot Pharmaceutical and 3M. Her motivation is to help entrepreneurs, identify business growth opportunities, and help others to overcome challenges during their business development. The South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in August 2007 and designated a 501(c)6 non-profi organization in June 2009 by the IRS.

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de productos en la canasta básica y los bajos salarios promueven un costo de vida bastante bajo. Estos factores trabajan en conjunto. P: ¿Cuales serían sus predicciones para los próximos meses en cuanto a la Inflación? ¿Seguirá esta aumentando? R: De acuerdo a indicadores económicos no podemos esperar un movimiento abrupto en los próximos meses. La economía Americana no está produciendo lo suficiente como para generar incrementos en la taza de inflación más allá de lo que se consideraría saludable para la economía. De hecho, por esa razón es que la Reserva Federal ha comenzado el llamado “Quantitative Easing 3”. Este programa está diseñado para estimular la demanda en la economía a través de los trillones de dólares que la Reserva Federal estará inyectando en la economía. El resultado, en la opinión de la Reserva, es que ese dinero que será ingresado servirá de estimulo para organizaciones y personas para comprar más productos en el mercado. La conexión de este programa con su punto es que la Reserva Federal está inyectando trillones de dólares a la economía. Al existir más dinero disponible en el mercado, la taza de inflación tiende a subir. Este efecto es deseado por la Reserva Federal ya que la taza de inflación está por debajo de niveles adecuados (el gobierno considera una taza de inflación de 2% saludable, mientras que en este año estaremos en una taza de apróximadamente 1.7% o menos). El peligro con este programa de la Reserva Federal es que puede causar hiperinflación. Esto puede ocurrir especialmente si los integrantes del mercado (negocios e individuos) deciden utilizar todo ese dinero disponible al mismo tiempo. De hecho, es muy posible que esto ocurra ya que estamos en la tercera ronda de este programa de “Quantitative Easing”. P: ¿Algunos consejos para las familias para enfrentar esta presión en el aumento de los productos de la canasta básica? R: Por lo general, una taza de inflación cerca del 2% no va a tener un efecto negativo muy grande. Por lo tanto, las familias sólo deben de seguir consumiendo sabiamente y ahorrando cuando le sea posible. Es importante que cualquier inversión que tengan en ahorros le pague una taza de interés que sobrepase la taza de inflación. Esta técnica le protegerá que sus ahorros pierdan valor por el efecto de la inflación en el dólar. P: Por favor si tiene algún otro comentario o dato que considere importante para orientar a nuestros lectores sobre el tema de la inflación. Siéntase libre en compartir. R:Tenemos que entender que la inflación no es necesariamente mala. De hecho, lo opuesto a la inflación, la deflación, puede ser altamente dañina. El problema de la inflación ocurre cuando los salarios del individuo no crecen al mismo paso que la inflación. For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/enespanol


Chip Felkel 1 1

CEO The Felkel Group

q u e s t i o n s

K. Angela T WEbb politic s

PRESIDENT CertusBank

he 120th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly was officially convened on January 8th. This Session should be an interesting one, for several reasons, given the issues that are expected to be addressed as well as some changes in the respective bodies that are worth noting. In November, all 170 legislative seats were up, 124 in the House and 46 in the Senate. Retirements and primaries, led to significant turnover in the Senate, and some changes in the House as well.While normally in Columbia the age-old adage of “nothing ever changes” fits, at least this year that is not completely accurate. In the Senate—the institution that thrives on long-winded deliberation and of course, seniority—a bunch of newbies are arriving this Session.There are 11 freshmen—the most in recent memory—including three from the Upstate (Sen.Tom Corbin, Sen. Karl Allen and Sen. Ross Turner).While these three get their “sea legs,” the Upstate can take comfort and hopefully benefit from Sen. Larry Martin chairing the very important Judiciary Committee, Sen. Mike Fair chairing Corrections, Sen. DannyVerdin chairing Agriculture and Natural Resources and Sen.Thomas Alexander leading the General Committee. Sen. Peeler of Gaffney will continue as Majority Leader in the Senate. Over in the House, while Charleston’s Bobby Harrell remains as Speaker, Greenville’s Rep. Bruce Bannister, seen by many as a potential candidate for speaker in the future (he represents the same seat previously held by

An Overview of the 120th Session

About the author...

NEED BIO******

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former Speaker Rex Carter and speaker-turned -Ambassador David Wilkins) will now serve as Majority Leader. Rep. Brian White of Anderson retains his role as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Bill Sandifer returns to lead Labor, Commerce and Industry.And two special elections required by Allen and Corbin moving to the Senate, will lead to a couple more new faces at some point in the Spring. But enough on the personnel; what is really important are the issues that absolutely must be addressed. At the end of the last Session, it was a given that tax reform and government restructuring would be top priorities. Both Governor Haley and Speaker Harrell have laid out their own plans for tax reform and there are other plans as well. As for ethics, there are no less than five different committees or study groups who expect to offer proposals, and, given that both the Governor and the Speaker made news on this topic in the fall, it is a pretty safe bet we will hear a lot about ethics “reform” from January until June.What we must have is real reporting, real transparency and real penalties for failure to do so.Without it, the public will never see it as real reform. Government restructuring remains a hot topic. It is still badly needed and was certainly going to be part of the debate. In fact, the concept of restructuring, and accountability is going to be helped somewhat by the overriding issue that will trump everything, the security breach at the Department of Revenue that lead to millions of personal records being stolen by a hacker. This is the top issue right now and rightly so. Hearings began in November and you can be assured everyone who is anyone, or who thinks they are, will offer a solution to this mess. In her own words, the breach has been Haley’s Hugo. A better hurricane analogy would be to call it her Hurricane Floyd (a reference to former Gov. Hodges failure to act quickly during the evacuation of the LowCountry). Regardless, this one is going to “leave a mark,” and how Haley handles it going forward could clearly affect her shot at reelection, should she seek a second term. But probably the biggest dynamic will be the continued friction between Governor Haley and the General Assembly. The defeat of one of the governor’s most vocal critics, Sen. Jakie Knotts, is a plus, frankly, in many ways. Still, there remains a large gap in her relationships with other Senate and House Leaders, as well as others members of the State Budget and Control Board.The hiring of Bryan Stirling as the governor’s new Chief of Staff can, and should be, of great help—he is a seasoned pro and well-respected in both bodies. Governor Haley is very capable. She was elected in a tough election and won a primary over a sitting congressman, the attorney general and the lieutenant governor, no small feat. She is considered by many outside the state as a rising star in the GOP, but she will never meet those lofty expectations, unless she finds a way to successfully work with the leadership in the House and Senate. It is as simple as that, and we sincerely hope she does. For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/politics


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q u e s t i o n s

[1] What was your first job?

[7] What is your plan for yourself in the future?

At 15, I was a cashier at Hardee’s—the only fast food restaurant in my North Carolina hometown.

I plan to do my part to make the bank an amazing place where customers want to do business and where teammates want to work. I’m an entrepreneur; so stay tuned for un-related ventures in the years to come.

My parents always kept education and industriousness before us. I always wanted to learn everything about any job or task given to me. I am competitive. So, I strive to be the best at anything I do. Today is no different, I have a veracious desire to learn new things, and I’m more competitive than ever.

[3] How do you strike a balance between

your personal and professional live5?

I often get this question and find it fascinating. I don’t lead separate lives. I have one life and it includes both personal and business. I think balance is personal and relative. I’m driven, so work and home are fun, exciting and exhilarating.

[4] What are some strategies you use to do so/keep yourself in check? Two things: At work we have an integrated team approach to leadership. I share my thoughts, ideas and strategies with my colleagues to check my thinking. At home, my husband keeps me grounded. He’s a firefighter; he has the more important job…he saves lives.

[8] What is one challenge you are currently working to overcome?

Exhausting our people! I have a type A personality and adult ADD—so I’m a fast moving, high achiever and on “go” all the time. I want it all now and that’s often just not possible.

[9] There are many women in banking, but

far fewer who have reached the level that you have. To what do you attribute that success?

I have been surrounded by men my entire career. In fact, they have been my biggest advocates. It’s critical to be extremely good at what you do, always add value, create meaningful reasons to be at the table. I never lose my identity because I sit at the table with men. I have amazing colleagues who are supportive in public and private.

[10] Was there ever a time in your career where you thought “this would be easier if I was a man?” What was that like? Probably, but where is the fun in that? I would be just like everyone else.

[5] What’s your most difficult responsibility, and how do you deal with it?

what is it that you find most fulfilling in it?

Culture—In less than two years we have purchased seven businesses and hired an additional 100 new teammates. Defining and driving one culture has been the most challenging. Businesses will be successful or flounder based on getting this right (or not).

I’m a real outdoors person. I enjoy football, baseball and golf. I appreciate the calmness and beauty of nature. My newest favorite outdoor hobby is skeet shooting. I love the feeling of the equipment and the skill required to hit the clay disks. It makes me feel like Annie Oakley.

[11] What is one of your favorite hobbies, and

[6] What vision do you promote for your employees, and how do you get your employees to buy into or tap into that vision?

The vision of greatness—we have the privilege of building something new, different and special. We have the ability to do what others can’t or haven’t. I think about it and work at it everyday. I challenge and encourage our team to do the same.

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[2] What are some of the skills you developed early, that you’ve found to be beneficial or essential to your practices now?


s p e e d

p i t ch

Kale b

Ross & Tommy Wilkinson Bread Bicycles

the pitch: My name is Kaleb Ross, and I, along with Tommy Wilkinson, are the founders of Bread Bicycles. Loving bicycles and loving people is what Bread Bicycles is all about. All over, people are hitting the road on two wheels, reaping the health and financial benefits of riding a bicycle. And yet we live in communities, nations, and a world where people have much more at stake than the benefits of riding a bike. In these places, people are suffering from hunger and food insecurity; the world’s #1 health risk, accounting for more deaths annually than AIDS, TB, and malaria combined. Bread Bicycles is the place where love of people and love of bicycles collide. With Tommy’s experience and knowledge base of the cycling industry, and my vision for the company, we design each limited edition bike and hope to soon be working primarily with local and American manufacturers for parts. Our bikes will soon be sold online, as well as from an Upstate-based showroom. We know you can buy a bike anywhere, but when you buy from Bread Bicycles you also get to invest in loving others. Although we are a for-profit organization, a portion of the sale of each bike goes to a local, national, international organizations that fight hunger and food insecurity—like Generous Garden, our local charity of choice. We are currently fundraising through RocketHub in order to launch our first run of bikes. We want people to think beyond what their bicycle does for them, and see what it can do for others­—that’s why Bread Bicycles is dedicated to creating quality bicycles that do much more than get you from point A to point B. Breadbicycles.com

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios


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the feedback:

In order to strengthen the pitch, Bread Bicycles should focus on why their bikes are worth buying regardless of their charitable giving, and then provide a more direct linkage to how their company and its product could help in the fight against hunger. The clear parallel is TOMS, a company that gives away a pair of shoes to children in poverty for every pair purchased. Their unique shoes provide a compelling stand-alone value proposition (comfortable, durable, affordable, stylish shoes), and their giving simply reinforces and extends the value proposition with a direct use of their product to fill an unmet need. Perhaps rather than simply giving cash to hunger fighters, the company could instead give away one bike for every 20 bikes purchased to provide partner organizations and the people they serve with critical transportation needed to access or deliver food resources.

Bread Bicycles sounds like an exciting venture and a strong pitch. Connecting the love of bicycling, which continues to grow and thrive in the Upstate from beginner to professional, with global issues links cycling to a higher meaning. In working with local cyclists, I have learned that they often feel a disconnect between their passion for riding and serving the community. Bread Bicycles has the potential to forge that gap. The main challenge that I see is moving the idea into the mainstream market. Most casual and new riders are not often thinking about the larger impact that cycling can have on the global community. Overall, I think the idea is strong and can have a significant impact if Bread Bicycles knows who their market is and how to capture them.

Laura Ringo Executive Director Partners for Active Living

For more from Business Black Box visit insideblackbox.com

First, let me commend the Bread Bicycles team for their entrepreneurial spirit. Problems are easy to find, but endeavoring to do something about it takes courage, especially when it involves starting a company, so I applaud the team for combining their passions for cycling and fighting hunger. However, the linkage between those two concepts in the Bread Bicycles pitch is not strong enough to be compelling. There’s no focus on what really makes the bicycle itself a great product, so cyclists who care about fighting hunger would be more likely to buy a great bike elsewhere and make a separate donation to their favorite hunger-fighting charity.

With a great product and a clear mission, Bread Bicycles could accomplish its goals of doing good while doing well.

Matt Dunbar

Managing Director Upstate Carolina Angel Network

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Peter Barth Founder The iron yard

I Tec h

nvestment in startup companies isn’t new. As long as there have been ideas and resources, entrepreneurs on both sides of the equation have come together to face risk in hope of reward. Ask any entrepreneur, and they’ll tell you that funding problems rarely come from a lack of good ideas or money, but from successfully marrying the two. Plenty of people want to go to the party, but finding the right date can be difficult. We’re lucky to live in one of the most exciting times for businesses and investors: new connections are being made in new ways, and we have technology to thank for it. Some companies have focused on creating greater efficiency for established methods of funding. AngelList is a great example. Started in 2010, it’s an online community where accredited investors and capital-seeking companies can quickly filter members to connect with relevant candidates. Other services like SecondMarket and SharesPost use their platforms to increase productivity in the market for restricted assets. This creates opportunities for people like employee stockholders to make illiquid shares liquid. These developments are powerful, but technology, as it is notorious for doing, hasn’t stopped at simply enhancing traditional modes of operation.With the help of the JOBS act, it has created entirely new ways of investing.

FUNDING TECH START-UPS In NEW WAYS About the author...

Peter went to Vanderbilt University, where he studied computer engineering. After school he moved to Manhattan to become an options and securities principal at Duke & Company (and later Morgan Stanley). A few years on Wall Street reminded Pete he was a hacker at heart, so he packed up and headed to Indianapolis to develop software for SinglePoint, an enterprise payroll service. With hard work and technical expertise, he worked his way up to CTO and purchased a stake in the business. In 2006, Peter moved his family to sunny South Carolina. In Greenville, Peter has taken leadership roles in the development of NEXT, the NEXT Innovation Center, InternGreenville, and the southeast’s premier startup accelerator, The Iron Yard.

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“Crowdfunding” companies like FundersClub can now give smaller-time investors a chance to offer venture capital at a fraction of traditionally high-barrier buy-ins. SeedInvest, another a new crowdfunding effort, removes the need for investor accreditation, allowing any individual to invest in startups and local businesses alike. This could be really good news for a lot of companies. The even better news? These models have proven to be incredibly successful for non-investment funding engines. Platforms like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter focus on funding projects, not companies. Instead of offering equity, capital-seekers leverage people’s passions, and projects succeed because a large groups of people are motivated enough to open their wallets. A recent Kickstarter success story happened right here in Greenville. Pathwright, a recent graduate of The Iron Yard’s startup accelerator, teamed up with three professional illustrators to form the beginning of an online art school. Again, match making was the problem: the artists had the knowledge, Pathrwright had the platform to deliver it, but they needed a third suitor with cash to implement both.That’s where the beauty of funding technology came in.As they promoted the project, Kickstarter’s service provided a way for them gather over 300 people who collectively contributed almost $30,000—double their goal—to make the first set of classes happen. Startup investment isn’t new, but new technology and legislation are helping re-invent it everyday— and that means more exciting times around the corner.

For more on this topic visit InsideBlackBox.com/law


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a d v e r t i s e r s

13 BMW Performance Center • bmwusa.com/performancecenter 5 Carolina Gallery • carolinagalleryart.com 26 Charleston Wine + Food Festival • charlestonwineandfood.com IFC Clemson MBA • clemson.edu/mba

Now you can pick up Business Black Box at the following locations:

78 Clemson Corporate Leadership • think.clemson.edu

14 Fisheye Studios • fisheyestudios.com 10 Flourish Events • aflourishevent.com 77 Gleaton Wyatt Hewitt • gwhlawfirm.com 1 Greenville Drive • greenvilledrive.com 19 Greenville Tech • gvltec.edu 71 Hampton Inn Riverplace • hamptoninnandsuitesgreenville.com BC Hilton Garden Inn • greenville.hgi.com

Anderson Anderson CVB Spartanburg Carolina Art Gallery Chapman Cultural Center Hub-Bub ShowRoom Hub City Bookshop Spartanburg Chamber Greer Greer Chamber Greenville

29 NoMa Square • nomasquare.com

Barnes & Noble | Haywood Rd

IBC Palmetto Bank • palmettobank.com

Barnes & Noble | Woodruff Rd

49 ProActive • pa-tech.com

Coffee Underground Commerce Club

37 Quality Business Solutions • qualitybsolutions.net

Fisheye Studios

9 Restaurant Week • nightoutgreenvillesc.com

Greenville Chamber

55 Sandlapper • sandlappersecurities.com 7 S.C. College All-Star Bowl • sccollegeallstarbowl.com 41 Stax Catering • staxs.net 21 Structured IT • structuredit.biz 22 Summit Janitorial • summitjanitorial.com 51 Wyche, P.A. • wyche.com

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2 Courtyard Marriott • marriottcourtyardgreenville.com

Michelin on Main NEXT Innovation Center Runway Cafe Soby’s on the Side Spill the Beans Stax Epicurean Stax Omega Swamp Rabbit Café

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Marc Bolick wha t

L

President Dmarc8 International

m at t e r s

eadership is taught through life. Take, for example, Abraham Lincoln. He was not born a ot president and a long ago, planning a meeting with a new business partner required a flurry of letters, leader; didn’t pop out fully bearded, with top hat on, faxes, “long-distance” phone calls and time with a travel agent. The barriers to doing clutching the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln was made were very high indeed. business globally a leader, as each step in life prepared him to step Today, into thebuilding next relationships is not only cheaper and faster, it’s entirely feasible to until he was ready for his final calling as president. do business with far-flung partners you’ve never actually met in person. Establish your own global Tobi Swartz, like Lincoln, grew up with in Central network a processIllinois, in mind and the help of a few powerful, cloud-based tools. and fields by g lwas o bout a lin the corn and bean Discovery the time she was in fifth grade. In high school,Finding she worked three nights the right person with the experience and expertise you need in a particular market is key. a week at a grocery store and Industry ran crossnewsletters, country, track, and websites and web searching are obvious places to start. But, the most conference was a cheerleader. powerful tools by far are social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. “Hard work was our family value,” saidyourself Swartz. to dive into each of these networks, learn what works for you, and make new Force Deciding she needed a change in scenery, contacts there.Swartz attended the University of Southern Mississippi, then went to graduate Engaging school to get a master’s from the University of South Carolina Once you’ve identified someone of interest, it’s time to engage and begin a relationship. Don’t be and began working in a Multi-Cultural Affairs office. shy. Social media people are, well, social people after all! Invite the person to connect on LinkedIn, “I was the first white graduatefollow assistant that office,post and aitcomment on her blog – these are all starting points. himinon Twitter, was a transformational experience in my life.” That position planted a seed in Swartz, one that grew as she worked in various capacities all over the state, such as directing the Life Scholarship program. Her heart turned towards minority students with great potential but unfortunately would be swallowed by circumstance. In 2004, the position to head-up the Bridges to a Brighter Future program at Furman University became open and Swartz knew it was the perfect fit. withtargeted your counterpart, and when you feel the time is right, setup a phone call. Skype “It combined all of my passionsBuild yet itrapport was really and focused and small,” she said.and Google Talk work great for this. The idea is to keep a conversation going and delve deeper into of mutual interest. At the time, the program wasareas a summer-only program that the author... Meetstudents. But by had a About retention rate of 50 percent ofLet’s enrolled At this point you’ve engaged with a few people who you want to take to the next step. But, instead 2006, had secured expanded the program Marc Swartz Bolick replanted his a grant and of hopping a plane, do a videoconference. While a voice call gets you part of the way there, seeing native roots in Greenville into a year-round program, while creatingon new atmosphere after living in Europe for program your “live” on screen takes the level of engagement way up and you’ll feel you have and vision that set up the forcounterpart success. 13“That years. impacted He has worked ‘met’selection, a new friend. everything actually from staff to the in all aspects of have product It’s surprising how few people use video calling these days, yet it can be done for free using the teachers that we in the program, their commitment, to service creation for camera of your PCtheor smart phone. Both Skype and Google Talk support video calls. A bit theand student’s that are selected andbuilt-in their commitments then companies ranging from of careful planning and, voilà, you’ll be doing Buck Rogers with Günter in Munich in no time flat. actual program itself.” Fortune 100 multi-nationals Build Relationship The new vision and outlook has grown the the program, which to mid-sized European firms Now among that you’ve met, with it’s time to start extending the relationship. Learning more about each other’s has aFor roughly 85nine percent retention students to now startups. the past business via weband conference is a good place to start.Two services that are free are join.me and vyew.com. 100 percent those graduating high school anywhere years he hasofrun Dmarc8 As you use the net to keep in touch and engage ever deeper, it’s likely that you will come up with International, a consulting from 90 to 100 percent going to college. firm that helps to our afuture collaboration project that will help you both grow business. Knowing that clients cultivating leadership matters now, qualify, plan and implement Collaborate Swartz wants Bridges to create a stable, trusting atmosphere innovative strategies. collaboration is the that thegrowth students can build on inSince learning confidence andmost valuable part of business relationships, there are many cloud-based can up use.and become leadership skills; then use those tools skills you to step If you want a simple, task-based project collaboration tool, Basecamp is worth a try. Another the next generation of leaders. as a hub “Bridges is building a wholeapp, lotYammer, of thingscan andact infusing a for all your interactions with distant partners. Other collaboration tools you might to use include Google Drive (documents), Zoho (CRM) and MindMeister lot of values and they are all interconnected andwant all related, so there isn’t just one thing we(brainstorming). do for leadership,” she says. Building relationships with international partners need not cost a fortune. It just takes an investment “Everything we do impacts leadership.” of your time and energy. Go ahead, plug yourself in to the global network of potential partners!

N

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The World is Your Network

Photo by Wayne Culpepper/FishEye Studios

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Business Black Box - Q1 - 2013